The Challenger Learning Center at SC4 – the only Challenger Learning Center in Michigan – offers out-of-this-world experiences for students grades 5-12, college students and educators, businesses and corporations, and community members. The space-themed simulation-based experiences are led by trained Flight Directors and take place in a fully immersive Space Station and Mission Control.
Surrounded by technology, each crew member plays a unique role in the mission as the team completes assignments, manipulates hands-on labs and copes with simulated emergencies. Teamwork is crucial, if one member fails to complete a job, the entire mission can be put at risk. This differentiated approach allows for a truly personalized learning experience where crew members apply critical, scientific knowledge to real-world scenarios.
Informed by real science data, Center Missions introduce crew members to STEM careers, build important 21st-century skills like critical thinking, problem-solving and collaboration, and ignite a passion for learning.
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Learners begin their adventure in the Briefing Room, where they are assigned their team roles, receive their pre-mission brief and learn about their Mission goals before launch. From here, they receive their assignments: Mission Control team or Spacecraft crew.
The Mission Control team guides Spacecraft crew members through their mission. The room is surrounded by large high-definition screens that enhance the visual experience and enable students the ability to observe flight paths, check on the status of the Mission, and watch a live feed of their teammates in the Spacecraft. Specialized lighting indicates emergencies, communications alerts, and Mission status. The new Challenger Learning Center Mission Control was designed with help from Blue Origin, drawing inspiration from their own New Glenn Mission Control.
Before the Spacecraft crew can initiate transport, they must go through the decontamination process.
Next, the Spacecraft crew enters the Transport Room. Once in jump seats, the launch sequence begins. Authentic video and audio communications combined with specialized lighting bring the experience to life.
The crew then enters Spacecraft, where they navigate through their Mission, conduct experiments (including using robotic arms, circuit assemblies and water labs), monitor crew health and safety, complete research, and communicate with teammates in Mission Control. Specialized lighting, like Mission Control, alerts learners to emergencies, communications updates and Mission status. Large monitors above each workstation display emergency messages and videos throughout the experience.